If you’ve ever suffered from knee pain then you’re not alone. In fact, you’re among millions of Americans each year who seek medical help for one of the most common areas prone to pain and injury. Whether the pain is from sports and physical activity or aging, knee pain is one of the most common reasons American visit the doctor’s office. Although it’s impossible to avoid knee pain and injury entirely, there are steps you can take to lower the risk and even prevent knee replacement surgery.
As knee replacement surgery increases in the US as well as visits to the ER due to a knee injury, doctors are researching more ways of prevention. A new study by doctors in the field has found the key to lowering the risk of knee pain and injury, and it has nothing to do with the knee itself.
Weak Hips + Weak Core = Knee Pain
Researchers conducted the study through a nine-week hip and core strengthening series. Researchers wanted to see if there was any difference in severity of the pain. They found that pain decreased throughout the strengthening series. Furthermore, greater knee pressure and lower knee power absorption had a significant decrease in pain and instability.
Doctors found that poor control of the upper leg muscles during weight bearing exercises created more stress on the knee joint. This was leading to instability, joint dysfunction, and pain. The core and hip muscles are the greatest controllers of the upper leg muscles and femur. Control of the femur impacts how much pressure is put on the knee joint. Doctors found that there was an increase in knee pain with more movement and instability in the core and hips.
As the participants grew stronger in the hips and core, they noticed less pain in the knee. Furthermore, researchers found better form in the participants, taking unnecessary pressure and stress off the knee joint.
Focus On Hip And Core Strengthening
One of the biggest discussions in the sports community is how to prevent serious knee injuries, such as ACL tears. Having the right form and moving correctly with the right technique is only part of the picture. The key to reducing the risk of knee pain and injury is both proper form and proper strengthening.
Incorporating the right strengthening exercises in a training regimen is beneficial to not only injury prevention but also performance and athletic efficiency. Many exercises such as single leg squats, planks, and crab walks can help ease knee pain and prevent knee injury.
OSR Athletic Training Program
Many physical therapists who see patients for knee pain will begin with hip and core strengthening. Moreover, many athletic trainers will incorporate hip and core exercises into programs and training sessions as injury prevention. OSR has club and school outreach programs that incorporate injury prevention measures. Contact one of our clinics today to talk to a physical therapist or athletic trainer about injury prevention programs.